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Cynthia E. Griffin

Stories by Cynthia E.

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Subway group urges “no” vote Measure M

Claiming that a measure proposed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority is racist and regressive, two transit advocacy organizations last week launched a campaign urging voters to reject Measure M. The legislation called the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, would modernize the region’s aging transportation infrastructure and build a 21st century transportation network that adds and accelerates transit lines and finally ties them together into a comprehensive system.

Committee OKs prison audit

Will look at high suicide rate among inmates

Sen. Connie Leyva, (D-Chino) has championed the fight to have the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approve an independent audit of the suicides at the California Institution for Women (CIW).

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Presidential politics dominate weekend

The race for president heated up last weekend with two well-known surrogates standing in for the two leading candidates before a vocal and highly-engaged crowd during a debate held in at Inglewood’s Faithful Central Tabernacle.

Vice presidential candidates solidify positions in debate

The first and only debate between vice presidential candidates of the 2016 campaign—Virginia Sen. Timothy Michael Kaine and former Indiana Gov. Michael Richard Pence— held Tuesday at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., was characterized according to analysts as fraught with bickering that really did not offer viewers anything new about their respective running mates nor did it seem to sway undecided voters.

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Win cash to build your mobile app

The US Black Chamber of Commerce invites entrepreneurs with an idea for a mobile app, service or product that will make the world a better place, to submit an application for the 2016 Mobileys competition.

Motherland connection

Doing business in Africa requires knowledge and more

For nearly 41 years, Katula by Africana (formerly Africana Imports) has served as a retail cultural touchstone in the city of Los Angeles drawing a clientele that is multiple generations deep.

Federal government to reduce reliance on private prisons

Citing an audit report that demonstrated a decline in the number of federal inmates and that prisons run by private companies are substantially less safe and secure than ones run by the Bureau of Prisons, and feature higher rates of violence and contraband, the Bureau of Prisons will stop using some of these lockups.

Owners of Baldwin Hills mall seek retailers to fill up Wal-Mart space

Since it was first built in 1947, the former Broadway Department store in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza has been occupied by one tenant.

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Colin Powell clarifies his role in Clinton e-mail server

The furor over the use of a personal e-mail server by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continues to spin uncontrollably thanks to a revelation by the former secretary of state that after she took over as the nation’s top diplomat,

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Banking on support

From the time African Americans were granted freedom from slavery, there were concerted and continuous efforts to change the economic fortunes and destinies of the race. In fact, shortly after slavery ended in 1865, Congress created one of the earliest financial institutions—the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (also known The Freedman’s Bank)—designed to aid the freed slaves in their transition from slavery to freedom.

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Science is hip

Fair encourages experiments

Kindergartners through adults in South Los Angeles can participate in the Helping Individuals Through Science (H.I.P.) science fair Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bradley Milken Center, 1773. E. Century Blvd. in Watts.

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Teens create app to help answer questions about sex

Team wins $4,000 in seed funding; talks with rapper Lupe Fiasco

His appearance at the seventh Teens Exploring Technology (TXT) Demo Day held Saturday morning at the USC Salvatori Computer Science Center was not unexpected—but he was only supposed to encourage the participants.

Do business in Belize and Central America

Expo and trade mission planned

The 2016 Expo Belize Marketplace, organized by the Belize Chamber of Commerce—that nation’s largest private sector association—gives American businesses an opportunity to advertise their products and services to Belizeans during the largest trade show in this Caribbean nation.

County helps small businesses meet wage increase requirements

The city and county of Los Angeles are set to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour, and the county held a workshop to let business owners in the unincorporated areas, who have 26 or more employees, know how the new wage increase will work

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Clinton stumps at Southwest College

Pushes comprehensive immigration reform, affordable college

As the presidential campaign makes a shift westward in preparation for the upcoming California June 7 primary, Southern California and in particular South Los Angeles got a taste of the excitement surrounding Hillary Clinton. The Democrat made a number of stops this week including a Saturday appearance at Los Angeles Southwest College.

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King envisions learning environment that rewards all

Michelle King, the new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest public school district, has a simple mission—she wants to provide a learning environment that enables all students to realize their dreams and goals.

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Waters proposes bill to end homelessness

Rep. Maxine Waters, (CA-43), last week introduced legislation that she said will end the crisis of homelessness in America.

Summer gladness

Thousands of jobs available to youth

Finding a job for the summer is more than a way for young people to earn money to subsidize activities during that period between June and August when school is out and your time belongs to you.

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Out of the ordinary presidential politics

The results from the latest round of presidential primaries and caucuses demonstrated that 2016 is “not your father’s presidential election” and what is considered “traditional,” “conventional” or even “normal” is definitely not happening this year, says Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication at USC.

African American loan fund available in Los Angeles

African-American businesses in existence for at least two years with one to 200 employees and up to $2 million in revenue who are seeking funding for working capital, debt refinancing, the purchase of owner-

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Supreme Court nomination up in air

Republicans vow to block Obama

The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, has set Washington abuzz with talk of his replacement, and among the names that have been mentioned are California State Attorney General Kamala Harris, who currently is campaigning for the U.S. Senate Barbara Boxer currently occupies.

100 days of work

Councilman recounts achievements

It has been 100 days since Marqueece Harris-Dawson joined the Los Angeles City council to represent the 8th District, and on Saturday the community will have the opportunity to come out to Crenshaw High School from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to mark the occasion. The event will feature activist and journalist Dominique Diprima as a special guest as well as music, food and entertainment for the entire family.

Black Catholics talk incarceration

Urge leaders to spread the word

If the leadership of the nation’s 3 million Black Catholics had an opportunity to have an audience with Pope Francis during his six-day visit to America, which continues through Sunday, one of the key issues they would discuss is the mass incarceration of Blacks in America, explained Johnnie Dorsey.

Southwest College hosts start-up weekend

Open to tech, entrepreneurial communities

Prospective entrepreneurs and techies will join forces Sept. 25 to spend a weekend at Los Angeles Southwest College conceptualizing and developing a business as part of Startup Weekend.

Watts businesses today similar to those of 50 years ago

Local people serve the local community

By the time the Watts civil unrest took place in 1965, Chambers Shine Parlor and Repair had spent nearly a decade serving customers in the community near the intersection of Manchester Boulevard and Central Avenue.

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Teens wow with business ideas

Earn seed funding, trip to Silicon Valley

While many in South Los Angeles have spent the last few weeks worrying about the drama that has gripped the community with reports of murders, shootings and a gang vendetta, a group of 33 middle and high school young men have spent that same time and longer learning to think like a technology entrepreneur.

Summer jobs still available to youth

County, city hope to place 20,000

The city and county of Los Angeles expect to provide up to 20,000 jobs for low-income youth by summer’s end through its HIRE L.A.’s Youth program, which kicked off this month.

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First on the agenda for Harris-Dawson: Respecting constituent needs and wants

Talking face-to-face to almost 30,000 voters during the course of a winning political campaign gave newly-elected Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson a very clear picture of some of his constituents' key concerns.

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Hilton wins contested Carson election

More action needed to fill remaining vacant seat

Describing their actions as “political shenanigans,” Jim Dear, former long-time mayor of Carson, who on March 3 was elected city clerk, filed an exparte notice of intent to file a lawsuite earlier this week asking a judge to declare a special city council meeting held Friday, illegal.

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Students can still find summer educational offerings

Students looking to make-up credits, benefit from academic intervention, or explore summer enrichment learning can take advantage of enrollment opportunities at a number of schools throughout L.A. County.

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High unemployment continues for African Americans

Energy sector expects 1.3 million jobs

For the second consecutive month, the U.S. unemployment rate has remained essentially unchanged at 5.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But as usual, the rate for African Americans remains high—nearly double the national rate at 10.2 percent, up from 9.6 percent in April.

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College or bust

Report recommends eight steps to improve Black graduation rate

The Campaign for College Opportunity in July will issue the third in a series of reports that presents an overview of the status of California’s ethnic minorities attending college.

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Looking for spirit in the rhythm

June is Black Music Month, and there is no time better suited to understand and explore the evolution of the distinctive ways folks of African descent have used to create this lyrical language.

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Exit Exam could be suspended

Views are mixed about the need for action

The California State Senate voted recently to temporarily suspend the administration of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and now the legislation moves to the Assembly for its consideration.

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State of Black education report to be released today

The Campaign for College Opportunity today will release its “The State of Higher Education in California: Black Report,” which examines how the state’s 2.16 million Black residents (6 percent of California’s population) are faring in higher education compared with other racial/ethnic groups.

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Results upcoming for California standardized testing

State prepares to mail reports

This summer, parents of students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 will receive the results of the new standardized test taken by youngsters in the state called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress–or CAASPP.

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New challenges highlight old problems six decades after ‘Brown’

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court made a decision that would have a profound impact on American public school education. In a culmination of years of legal groundwork laid by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to end segregation, the high court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, handed down on May 17, 1954, a unanimous (9-0) decision which stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Dorsey named ‘Green Achiever’ school by the state board

Dorsey High School was recently nominated by the California Department of Education as one of five Green Achiever schools or districts.

African American grad rates remain flat

Educator urges parents to get involved

While the graduation rates of most student groups in the state rose in 2014, the numbers for African American pupils stayed flat, at 68.1 percent, unchanged from the year before.

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Actvists push for vote on Loretta Lynch

Attorney General nominee on hold more than 150 days

Supporters of New York’s Loretta Lynch, who was nominated November 8, 2014, by President Barack Obama to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General are trying to pressure Congressional Republicans to hold confirmation hearings in the full Senate.

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Treading the boards

Festival introduces youth to all aspects of theater

The aim for organizers of the L.A. Youth Theatre Festival happening through April 19 in Leimert Park Village at the Vision Theatre and surrounding theaters is simple; they want to develop in young people ages 13-30 an appreciation for live theater as well as an understanding that they can participate in all aspects of the art form from acting to writing a screen play.

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Good business

Entrepreneurs learn to create firms that benefit society

The last thing on Jennifer Davis’ mind was winning $10,000 when she got up Saturday morning to trek down to Los Angeles Trade Technical College to attend the second annual Social Innovation Summit.

One Inglewood school board race could be headed for run-off

Seat 4 too close to call

With an unofficial estimated 5,000 of the more than 65,000 registered voters in Inglewood going to the polls, the city clerk has released the unofficial results, and at this point only one race remains up in the air.

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Black unemployment remains high

Self employment is an option

While the national unemployment remained steady at 5.5 percent and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 8.6 million in March, the rate of Black unemployed sat at just about double the U.S. percentage with 10.1 percent seeking work, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this week. This was little changed from the 10.4 percent rate in February and down from 12.2 percent a year ago, noted the BLS.

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The business of Black media

While most people who think about Black media consider its historic role as a leader and purveyor of the needs, wants and desires of the African American community, those same people sometimes forget that at the very foundation of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations owned by African-descended people are some fundamentals—these entities are businesses that in order to exist, must make money.

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Minimum wage debate finds two sides to issue

With three different studies serving as the centerpiece of discussion, the Los Angeles City Council Economic Development Committee on Tuesday kicked off a series of public hearings regarding a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles.

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Summer jobs available for youth

Thousands of spots teach about careers and more

Summertime is coming, and as the old song says “the livin’ is easy” and that is especially the case for young people who have an opportunity to snag one of the more than 20,000 jobs that will be offered to youth in Los Angeles County this year.

Campaign for minimum wage pushes forward

Blacks impacted more by low wages

If the Los Angeles City Council were to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, it would create 64,000 new jobs, says Rusty Hicks, executive-secretary treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and co-convener of the Raise the Wage Coalition.

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Local robotics teams gear up for season

AV teams begin competition this weekend

Robotics season is under way, and there are a number of local high schools busy building and preparing to enter their creations in a variety of regional competitions leading up to the international world champions at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, April 22-25.

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Celebration of Black History strikes chord

Ninety years after the first recognition, interest grows

When Harvard-educated historian, author and journalist Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded—the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH)—conceived of the idea of Negro History Week in 1925, the goal was simply to raise awareness of African American contributions to civilization in order to begin to eliminate prejudice. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. According to an article by Howard University Professor Daryl Michael Scott, the response, at the time, was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive Whites—not simply White scholars and philanthropists—stepped forward to endorse the effort.